How Close Is the U.S. to Civil War?
Prominent observers are discussing the possibility of civil war in America. In November, the Democratic Party began an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump. At least 228 Democrats in the House of Representatives support this inquiry, and it only takes 218 to impeach the president. Some polls, if they can be trusted, indicate popular support for impeachment (though others do not); one betting website puts the odds of the president being impeached at 78 percent.
Article i, Section 2, of the U.S. Constitution gives the House of Representatives the sole power to impeach officers of the federal government, including the president. An “impeachment” is a formal charge of misconduct. If the president is impeached, he is tried in the Senate. If two thirds of senators vote to convict him of “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors,” he is removed from office.
With Democrats controlling the House of Representatives (and likely to impeach), and Republicans controlling the Senate (and likely to acquit), President Trump may become the first impeached president in U.S. history to run for reelection. Whatever happens, the 2020 U.S. presidential election is set to be the most contentious since the American Civil War.
Democrats are accusing Republicans of obstructing justice to protect a corrupt president. Republicans are accusing Democrats of attempting a coup d’état. The impeachment process, whatever its outcome, will exacerbate this division. A Georgetown University poll showed that two thirds of Americans believe the U.S. is “on the edge of civil war” (emphasis added).
Think about that for a moment. The American Civil War took 620,000 American lives—more deaths than all other American wars combined. Could America really be on the edge of another such catastrophe?
Bible prophecy gives the sobering answer.
Bitter division in America today is leading toward a time of strife that will be 10,000 times worse than anything the nation has experienced before!
Former Vice President Joe Biden is a top Democratic candidate for president. While Biden was in office, his son was hired as a board member at a Ukrainian gas company. After President Trump took office, he asked the president of Ukraine to look into the matter for possible corruption. A Central Intelligence Agency whistle-blower, revealed to be Eric Ciaramella, accused President Trump of threatening to withhold aid to Ukraine to damage the Bidens and increase his own chances for reelection.
This set off the impeachment clash. Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced the impeachment inquiry by saying President Trump had violated the Constitution, betrayed his oath of office, and endangered national security by enlisting a foreign power to tarnish the reputation of a rival.
But Democrats are clearly motivated by other factors. After all, they raised no concern when, in 2018, Biden openly bragged that when he was vice president he threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loans from Ukraine if the Ukrainian government did not fire a prosecutor who was investigating his son’s dealings with the energy company.
To clear his name, President Trump released the transcript of his July 25 phone call with the Ukrainian president, which showed that the whistle-blower’s accusations were false: The president had not threatened the Ukrainian president.
“I would like you to do us a favor though, because our country has been through a lot, and Ukraine knows a lot about it,” the transcript recorded President Trump as saying. “I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine. … I would like to have the attorney general call you or your people, and I would like you to get to the bottom of it.” This was in reference to the 2016 election meddling case that special prosecutor Robert Mueller finished investigating in May 2019.
Later in the call, Mr. Trump mentioned Joe Biden bragging that he had forced Ukraine to fire the prosecutor investigating his son. President Trump stated, “There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that [Joe] Biden stopped the prosecution, and a lot of people want to find out about that; so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution, so if you can look into it. … It sounds horrible to me.”
The cia whistle-blower accused Mr. Trump of threatening to cut off aid to Ukraine to get information on Joe Biden. But in the transcript, it was Ukraine’s president that brought up American aid and Javelin antitank missiles; Mr. Trump hardly mentioned them.
An honest look at the transcript gives no evidence that President Trump threatened the Ukrainian president. But his critics say the threat is implied. For example, cnn quoted former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who said in congressional testimony last February that Trump “doesn’t give you questions; he doesn’t give you orders. He speaks in a code. And I understand the code, because I’ve been around him for a decade.” By this reasoning, the president is guilty of blackmail because Democratic officials are able to divine a corrupt motive.
If an impeachment inquiry finds President Trump guilty of using his office to gain an advantage in an election, it would be a civil violation of campaign finance laws. But the people pushing for Mr. Trump’s impeachment are not doing so because they passionately cherish the stringent enforcement of campaign finance law. They are opposed to the Trump administration’s agenda for America and are using anything they can to restrict his power and oust him from office.
Public opinion polls published by FiveThirtyEight indicate that 48 percent of Americans believe President Trump should be impeached, including 84 percent of Democrats and 11 percent of Republicans. Yet the president does have a group of supporters who oppose all attempts to remove him from office. Findings released on Oct. 21, 2019, by the Public Religion Research Institute found that 99 percent of white evangelical Christians do not believe Mr. Trump should be impeached.
During the 2016 presidential election, 81 percent of white evangelical voters cast a ballot for Donald Trump. This means they account for almost half (more than 29 million) of President Trump’s supporters.
Asked about how evangelical Christians are responding to impeachment, Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress told Fox & Friends: “Look, I don’t pretend to speak for all evangelicals, but this week, I have been traveling the country and I’ve literally spoken to thousands and thousands of evangelical Christians. I have never seen them more angry over any issue than this attempt to illegitimately remove this president from office, overturn the 2016 election, and negate the votes of millions of evangelicals in the process. … And I do want to make this prediction this morning: If the Democrats are successful in removing the president from office, I’m afraid it will cause a civil war-like fracture in this nation from which this country will never heal” (Sept. 29, 2019).
President Trump tweeted Jeffress’s warning. A month later, he met with 25 evangelical leaders who prayed with him in the White House. These religious leaders assured Mr. Trump that evangelicals across America support him. In a bitter election year, President Trump is certain to court his evangelical base for support.
Jesus Christ warned, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand” (Matthew 12:25).
America cannot afford to ignore this sober warning.
Democrats think they must do whatever it takes to bring down the president. Are they, in actuality, bringing down America itself? Many Republicans and evangelical Christians are praying for God to save the nation, but is God answering these prayers?
During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln called for the nation not just to pray, but to repent of its sins. In a March 30, 1863, proclamation, he wrote: “We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.”
Some religious leaders are calling out the numerous sins of the radical left, but who is calling for the nation as a whole to turn to God in repentance? Abortion, adultery, drug abuse, homosexuality, lying and sexual promiscuity are sins publicly endorsed by the radical left. And one of America’s greatest sins is ingratitude to God for making America great. Even many conservative Christians fall into the trap of imagining that America’s greatness was “produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.”
Could God be punishing Americans for their sins once again? America no longer has leaders like Lincoln who will call for national repentance. And because the nation refuses to repent of its numerous sins, a lawless spirit is fomenting bitter division in the nation.
You cannot understand what is really happening in the current impeachment hearings until you realize the spiritual dimension behind America’s downfall.
“An invisible evil power is destroying this nation with great speed and fury!” Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote in the October 2017 issue. “Satan manipulates human moods, attitudes, feelings and emotions (Ephesians 2:2). He can easily stir up people to try to kill each other in violent riots. He targets America, Britain and the Jewish state in the Middle East above other nations because of their special history with God. God allows this so our rebellious people will learn a valuable lesson the hard way—unless they deeply repent as Abraham Lincoln advised.”
Anyone can see that America is bitterly divided. Yet it is hard to imagine people killing their neighbors on a mass scale as long as economic conditions remain stable. In the advent of a devastating economic collapse, however, Satan could easily exploit people’s rage and bitterness to stir them to try to kill each other in violent riots.
In Ezekiel 5, God reveals that one third of the population of end-time Israel (the United States and Britain primarily) will die from the pestilence, famine and violence that will result from civil war. “And I will do in thee that which I have not done, and whereunto I will not do any more the like, because of all thine abominations. … A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee …” (verses 9, 12).
This sobering prophecy says more than 100 million people will die in rioting and warfare in the United States while the nation is under economic siege. (Request our free book Ezekiel: The End-Time Prophet for further proof.)
You can see the fault lines of this seismic conflict forming. On the one side, Satan is using radical-leftist politicians and their allies in the mainstream to stir up race and class hatreds in the nation. These figures are convincing millions of people that the president is a wealthy racist who needs to be overthrown by any means necessary. On the other side, working-class Republicans and evangelical Christians are trying to defend America’s constitutional system of government. But the vast majority are unwilling to accept the Prophet Ezekiel’s warning that God is cursing the nation because the American people have turned away from God.
“Many Americans are troubled by the divisions and hatreds being expressed right now,” Mr. Flurry wrote in the January 2017 Trumpet. “But they need to be a lot more concerned than they are! The problems are going to get worse and worse until people get the message, and they learn why these disasters are happening! Donald Trump’s win is a prophetic sign of impending civil war and anarchy, followed by America’s worst military defeat ever! But don’t blame the politicians or the race-baiters or the professional rioters. This situation exists in America only because of the sins of the nation—of all Americans! We can no longer ignore what we have reaped by giving ourselves over to sin. This is a reckoning!”
God will allow the people of America to experience a second civil war within the next few years for the same reason He allowed them to experience the first Civil War: to teach them the consequences of broken law. Yet the good news is that the coming violence in America’s cities will lead people to come to know God (Ezekiel 12:17-20). God offers protection from the coming civil war (Revelation 12:14), but we must do more than pray. We must turn from what we have “vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts,” as Lincoln said, and turn to God in heartfelt repentance!